Until a decade ago, several businesses occupied this row of one- and two-story buildings dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but most of them are now vacant. Built to take advantage of railroad traffic, the row, originally called Main Street, contained stores, bars, and hotels. Later some of the buildings were converted for use as a liquor warehouse, bowling alley, and thrift shop, reflecting the decline in real estate values as traffic shifted from trains to cars. The city of Wells has conducted surveys in the hope of preserving the street and making it a tourist attraction, but this plan is unlikely to succeed as long as development continues unabated around the freeway exits.
Wells Bank (1911), a white one-story concrete building in the Beaux-Arts classical style, on 7th Street between Starr and Lake avenues, lends a level of sophistication to the comercial row facing the tracks. Pairs of Ionic pilasters frame the facade, below a wide entablature with a frieze decorated with dentils and topped by a heavy cornice. The building served as
The buildings in the 400 block of 7th Street are some of the railroad row's most significant structures. Anchoring the southeast corner of 7th Street and Lake Avenue is the Bullshead Bar and Wells Hotel (1900). The wood-frame hotel, one of three wood buildings remaining on the street, was clad in brick in 1945. Next door stands Quilici's Market (1871, 1950s), opened in the 1920s by John Quilici, an Italian immigrant. He extensively remodeled the structure in the 1950s, applying brick and stucco to the wood-frame building. The two-story Nevada Theater (1902) has one of the best-preserved turn-of-the-century brick facades on the block. Large arched openings rise to a decorative cornice flanked by pilaster strips projecting just above the roofline.